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Sigma-Aldrich (Nasdaq: SIAL) Annual Sales Surpass $2 Billion Mark.
Date:2/12/2008

fter achieving record sales levels in several of our most recent quarters, SAFC is expected to have another strong year in the 8% to 9% organic sales growth range. A carryover benefit in Q1 2008 from the February 2007 acquisition of Epichem, an innovator in developing and supplying high performance semiconductor materials, is expected to add modestly to organic growth. Anticipated results from the Q2 2007 addition of Molecular Medicine Biosciences, which has been integrated into SAFC, are included in overall forecasts and will not be reported separately.

Ongoing efforts to identify and pursue additional desirable acquisition candidates may further enhance growth in 2008 as we continue to seek to add as much as 3% in overall additional annual revenue growth through acquisition of strategically important products, services, platform technologies, businesses and facilities.

Based on our 2007 achievements, the sales expectations described above, currency rates remaining at December 31, 2007 levels, the expected pretax income margin and tax rate described below and other expectations for our business, we set our initial forecast for diluted earnings per share for 2008 in the range of $2.52 to $2.62, a 7.7% to 12.0% increase over 2007's $2.34. Pretax income margins for the full year are expected to improve from the 21.5% achieved in 2007 as the result of modest contributions from the Company's supply chain initiative and other margin improvement initiatives. A higher forecasted effective tax rate in the range of 30% to 32% of pretax income for all of 2008 will likely offset pretax margin improvements. The effective tax rate for 2008 is expected to increase because of a higher net international tax level, due to a larger 2007 benefit from changes in our international organization, and the expiration of the U.S. R&D tax credit. Reinstatement of the U.S. R&D tax credit currently being considered by the U.S. Congress would likely drive the tax rate for 2008 to t
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